30 September 2014
Interpol Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) Handover Ceremony at the IGCI – Speech by Mr S Iswaran, Minister, Prime Minister’s office, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry
Secretary General Mr. Ronald Noble;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
1 I am pleased to join you today for the Handover Ceremony of the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation. This marked a significant milestone in the establishment of the IGCI. With this handover from the Ministry of Home Affairs of Singapore, INTERPOL can install systems and equipment to commence the IGCI’s operations in the building.
The changing face of crime
2 The decision to establish the IGCI is testament to INTERPOL’s leadership, and its recognition of the fact that the nature of crime is changing rapidly. Fuelled by globalisation and technological advancements, crime has become transnational if not global, more complex and sophisticated, and pervasive in its impact. In turn, criminals are bolder, ambitious and ever more resourceful.
3 Today, criminals operate in loose and agile networks. They move quickly and operate from different locations to avoid detection and prosecution by law enforcement agencies. They have also been able to diversify their operations, resulting in the emergence of new threats such as cybercrime and transnational organised crime. Their illegal activities have a global footprint, constantly adopting new technologies and alliances, to stay ahead of law enforcement.
4 No country can deal with this menace on its own. Our threat environment has changed, and our police forces must adapt and not operate in isolation.
IGCI as the cornerstone to meet policing needs in this evolving security landscape
5 To help its members meet the policing demands of this new age, INTERPOL has taken the lead to develop innovative global crime-fighting initiatives. This important effort will be enhanced by the establishment of the IGCI.
6 By focusing on innovation, the IGCI will equip itself with cutting edge technology to proactively combat crime as it evolves. It will study emerging crime trends, and harness technology to develop future policing solutions. It will forge strong partnerships with the private sector, and allow law enforcement agencies to leverage the private sector’s extensive resources to detect, prevent and deter crime.
7 The Digital Crime Centre within the IGCI is evidence of this. The Centre will support member countries’ operations by providing law enforcement agencies with advanced tools and techniques to counter the latest cybercrime trends. It will also facilitate information sharing with the private sector, which could have critical information that can strengthen efforts and actions against cybercrime. Given the complex and evolving nature of this new threat, it is clear that the Digital Crime Centre will be of great value to all our police forces.
Strategic value of the IGCI to Singapore and the region
8 Asia and, in particular, Singapore have good reasons to welcome the establishment of the IGCI. With geographic proximity, we will be better able to harness INTERPOL’s extensive resources and networks to combat crime. We will also benefit from INTERPOL’s partnerships with the private sector. Already, several private sector partners have pledged strong support for the IGCI, ranging from the offer of significant technical and human resources, to advanced solutions and intelligence, as well as various training programmes. These contributions will certainly help to boost our law enforcement capacity and capabilities.
9 The IGCI’s value is exemplified by INTERPOL’s recent joint operations with several member countries to tackle sextortion cases in this region. The increased opportunity for information sharing between the Digital Crime Centre and law enforcement agencies led to the identification of close to 200 individuals involved in organised crime groups operating out of the Philippines. This is a significant achievement which our police forces can aspire to continue to collectively emulate with the IGCI.
10 We have indeed come a long way from the endorsement of the IGCI project by INTERPOL’s General Assembly in November 2010, to the commencement of its construction in January last year, and the Handover Ceremony today. Secretary General Ronald Noble has been steadfast in his conviction and unwavering support for the project; and the INTERPOL and Singapore IGCI Project teams, have been resolute in their commitment and perseverance over the past four years. Please join me in thanking Secretary General Noble and the INTERPOL and Singapore IGCI project teams for their signal contributions to this endeavour.
11 We look forward to the IGCI commencing its operations in this building soon, and its Opening Ceremony in April next year. I am confident that the IGCI will be an important ally in our collective effort to fight crime and make the world a safer place.
12 Thank you.